In Tetris, we meet Henk Rogers, played by Taron Egerton, who becomes captivated by a video game featuring falling colored shapes at a conference. Rogers, a Dutch-American game developer, is married to a Japanese woman and runs a video game development company in Tokyo. He purchases the Japanese rights to Tetris and persuades Nintendo to get on board. After seeing the Game Boy, he becomes determined to secure the global handheld rights to Tetris, which proves to be a challenge since the game was created by a Russian computer programmer.
Set in 1988 during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tetris is more of a cold war thriller than a movie about video games. Director Noah Pink does a fantastic job of keeping the tension high, making the film feel more like a spy movie than anything else. The backgrounds are suitably bleak, and the villains are appropriately loathsome. We root for Rogers, who has a passion for the game and a determination to do the right thing.
Despite the exciting storyline, Tetris is unfortunately unsuitable for families due to the profanity, which includes twenty-five sexual expletives. However, the film does encourage persistence, courage, friendship, loyalty, and dogged determination. The resolution provides satisfying karma as virtue is rewarded and vice suitably punished.
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Overall, Tetris has a broad appeal, attracting video game enthusiasts and espionage thriller fans alike. Fans of video games will appreciate the nostalgia of seeing old versions of Super Mario games and the original Game Boy. Additionally, the video game graphics move the film from scene to scene in an engaging way. Those who enjoy espionage thrillers will also enjoy this tense story set amidst familiar Soviet tropes.
As someone who has never been a fan of video games, I found myself thoroughly entertained by Tetris. Even without playing the game, the movie offers excitement and a thrilling story. Directed by Jon S. Baird and starring Taron Egerton, Toby Jones, and Sofya Lebedeva, Tetris runs for 120 minutes and was released in theaters on March 31, 2023.